07/06/12 7:05 PM ET
Hochevar reports no issues with injured ankle
By Mike Scott / Special to MLB.com
On Friday, Hochevar reiterated that the ankle would not be an issue and that he felt fine. In fact, when asked if he would be able to make his start sometime after the All-Star break, Hochevar responded "100 percent" that he would be ready to go.
Moose, Perez look to stay hot against Tigers
DETROIT -- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and catcher Salvador Perez have been swinging hot bats heading into this weekend's series against the Tigers.
Moustakas went 6-for-17 with three doubles, one homer and six RBIs in the previous set against the Blue Jays, while Perez was 8-for-15 with five runs, one homer and two RBIs, as the Royals split the four games in Toronto.
Overall, Perez is hitting .500 for the current road trip with seven runs scored and a pair of home runs.
"I've been working with [hitting coach] Kevin Seitzer more and have just been trying to make good contact and hit the ball hard somewhere," Perez said before Friday's series opener at Comerica Park.
Hitting the ball harder, though, doesn't exactly mean that Perez has had to become more aggressive.
"No I wouldn't say that," Perez said. "It's really the same approach as I've always had."
One might think that the red-hot Perez would prefer to keep playing rather than having time off during the upcoming All-Star break. But he is happy to have a few days off.
"That doesn't bother me, my routine won't really change," Perez said. "It's been a long year already and you're playing games every day. [A few] days won't hurt."
On Thursday, Perez became the second Royals catcher to record four hits in a game this season, joining Brayan Pena, who had four hits versus Cleveland on April 15.
It is just the fourth time in franchise history that two different Kansas City catchers have posted four-hit games during a single season. Tt also happened in 1977 (John Wathan and Darrell Porter), '80 (Wathan and Porter) and '98 (Mike Sweeney and Sal Fasano).
"Offensively right now, we're playing pretty well. Everyone is contributing," said Perez, who added that playing in the recent heat has had "no impact" on his game. "We're playing 100 percent every night and it's fun playing when we're going good like this."
Yost wants starters to keep 'pen less busy
DETROIT -- Royals manager Ned Yost is pleased with how his pitching staff has handled the significant injuries endured during the first half of the season.
With starters Felipe Paulino and Danny Duffy both requiring Tommy John surgery, Yost admits his team has had to "rely heavily on our bullpen" in the first 80-plus games.
Yost hopes that dynamic will change a bit following the All-Start break. The Royals decided to carry 13 pitchers at the end of the first half and during this 11-game road trip to help support a bullpen that has often had to work at least three or four innings in many outings this season.
Yost would like to get some additional innings from his starters during the second half.
"We need to find length on our starters a bit more, and the guys are doing a little better with that," Yost said. "[Everett] Teaford and [Luis] Mendoza have gone deeper recently. They've done a good job. [Bruce] Chen is pitching better lately."
Yost defines a starter as "going deep" when he can get seven innings a couple of times through the rotation, and at least six innings most games. The skipper does like the depth of his bullpen, but would prefer to avoid using his relievers four innings a few times over a one-week span.
Yost hopes Friday's starter Jonathan Sanchez can command the ball better and throw strikes more consistently, which will allow him to go deeper into games.
"Jonathan can get into and out of trouble, and he has a knack for getting out of a lot of those jams," Yost said. "But we want to get his pitch count down."
Yost feels that right-hander Nate Adcock can do a great job as a long relief pitcher during this weekend's series as needed, and that Adcock is valuable because of his ability to pitch short and long.
Yost proud to say he loves country living
DETROIT -- The home of Motown, the American automotive industry and Coney dogs celebrated "Country Night" in Detroit on Friday.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland told Fox Sports Detroit reporter Shannon Hogan before the game that Royals manager Ned Yost is more of a country fan than Leyland is.
Yost confirmed he indeed has a bit of country in him.
"A lot of my friends are country fans and some of my best friends are in the [country] music or entertainment business," Yost said, naming comedian Jeff Foxworthy as one of his best friends.
While he doesn't have a favorite band, Yost has a 700-acre farm in Georgia and says that he enjoys "hunting and fishing."
Kansas City batted around for the fifth time this season on Thursday, scoring five runs in the third inning of a 9-6 win over the Blue Jays.
At the 81-game mark, exactly halfway through the regular season, the Royals stood at 37-44. At the same point in 2011, the Royals were 15 games under .500 at 33-48.
The Royals' team batting averages (.265 to .263) and staff ERAs (4.28 to 4.49) are also better than they were at this point last year. The Royals batted .287 overall during the second half in 2011.
Mike Scott is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.